The New England Revolution have the unfortunate task of facing two of the league's top teams in back-to-back games, as they travel to Texas on Saturday to take on the Houston Dynamo a week after playing to a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at Gillette Stadium.
The Red Bulls enter the weekend as the top team in the Eastern Conference, while Houston enters Saturday's match with New England as the second-place team in the East, just one point behind New York.
Saturday's match with the Dynamo marks the only road game for the Revs in the middle of this six-game stretch that sees five of the six at Gillette Stadium. But the Revolution head to Houston with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake in the first home game of the stretch and an equally disappointing 1-1 draw to the Red Bulls that included many missed opportunities for three points.
"We're disappointed about the homestand because both games we scored first and should've come away with more," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. "Whether it's two wins, probably not, but we should have had at least a win in one of those two matches. It's disappointing in that regard.
"We learn from it, we use it as some material to get better on. It’s Houston now. We know this week is a huge week preparing for them and we're excited about the challenge.”
You could call Saturday a challenge for the sole reason that the Dynamo have only lost one game at home in their last 37 games in Houston. The only slightly encouraging thing about that stat would be that that one home loss for the Dynamo came last weekend.
The discouraging part about Saturday's match is that the Revs are winless in their last four matches with the Dynamo through the last two seasons.
New England looks to see the debut of newly-acquired striker Juan Agudelo, who has fully recovered from a hamstring strain, according to the team's injury report.
Meanwhile, Kelyn Rowe (calf) and Jose Goncalves (adductor) are listed as questionable.